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Douglas Coupland:’ I’m actually at my happiest when I’m writing on an aircraft’

No more clock-based passivity from the novelist, who interrupted a 20 -year routine with a decision to embrace the unpredictable

I used to be a penalty morning writer, but in the spring of 2010 I was visiting a router-making facility in Shanghais Pudong district and witnessed thousands of workers in robins egg off-color jumpsuits constructing the gear are required to pole-vault Chinas technological connectedness ahead of all other countries in our new international order. This tableau stimulated in me a soothing realisation that “the worlds” was changing even more quickly than Id thought it was, and that Id better shake concepts up creatively to keep pace with it.

I asked myself a few questions: how can I imbue myth with that same fractal sense of falling down a rabbit hole that we all ordeal when were online? How can writing compete with Netflix? How could I compress spirit into as few paroles as possible not just on a page but something people can read from a gondola at 50 miles per hour?

To this end I intentionally upended what had been a 20 -year-old writing number. No more AM clock-based passivity, calmly awaiting words that may or may not come is dependent on the fussiness of my muse. No more predictability; instead of sitting there find nostalgic for my pre-internet intelligence, I tried to figure out what my brand-new intelligence was becoming and how that affected my writing. So if “youre asking me” what is my usual author daylight, I have no specific react, only a series of tendencies which together characterize my brand-new writing normal.

One: I do much of my writing on airplanes. Im actually at my happiest when Im writing on a plane, and Im writing these paroles on an aircraft right now, Lufthansa flight 1436 from Frankfurt to St Petersburg. Theres no Wi-Fi( sanctuary !) and Im having that not distressing wizard of soon-to-end Schengen-era statelessness the kind of transnational fluidity so accurately touted by Monocle magazine a headspace where all the men wear slim-fit clothe and all the women in little black attires go back to the power from the Embassy function to do some late nighttime C ++ coding.

Q: Would you like a glass of water with your vodka tonic ?
A: No. Thats why God fabricated ice cubes .

Two: I do much of my writing in hotel rooms, specially if theres a deadline. Actually, since I wrote the above paragraph Ive property and am now in the Saint petersburg W inn which has killer Wi-Fi and interior design picks possibly did( in the best possible gumption) by an oligarchs mistress. Theres something about being in a inn area most scribes know this implicitly that free-spokens up ones seeing. First you target a scorched globe do-not-disturb on your email account( autoreply: Im dead and hence unable to reply to your email) and second, hide the mobile phone in the desk drawer and its almost as good as being on a plane. None can reach you. Youre safe.

Three: I write in places connected in definable ways to the forces of both globalisation and deglobalisation: Shanghai router-making facilities; Chilean classrooms taken over by demonstrating students, the chambers now converted into artists studios; the International House of Pancakes on the north back of Interstate 15 in Las Vegas. The more random and unpredictable the better.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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